When a lot of people think of Guy Ritchie they think of his marriage to Madonna, and then they probably don’t think about him again for a moment or two. But when you take a second though you might actually remember that he’s made some rather entertaining movies that, even if they were panned by critics, were still in some ways kind of impressive since they touched upon subjects that were extremely interesting or at the very least provided us with a few laughs mixed in with some action and very interesting visuals. To be quite honest his vision seems all over the place at times but it does have an underlying structure that is right there in front of your eyes if you take the time to see it. Of course in a world where people want their gratification right now even in the movies it’s hard to appreciate a subtle twist or change in the narrative. That is, if you don’t take the time to look for it.
Here are a few of the best movies he’s put out so far.
5. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Another take on the legend of King Arthur, this film shows the titular character as a street urchin after having lost his family years before to the evil machinations of his uncle, a man that lusts after power and the ability to claim it without any to stand in his path. As a person of the street and a very influential person at that Arthur strikes back at his uncle as much as he can but is far from being the most knightly person around. When it comes time to finally confront his uncle and reclaim his birthright however he becomes the man that his father once was, and in doing so remembers just what duty is all about.
4. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Americans and Soviets having to work together has rarely ever sounded like a good idea, especially during the Cold War, but given that the two men were working towards the same ends they found it necessary to team up and combine their forces against a common enemy. Of course when it’s the CIA and KGB working together you wouldn’t think that many people would stand a chance in hell of lasting more than a day or so against them, but given the high stakes the people they’re working against are much more ruthless and prone to taking things to new limits that many would never think possible.
3. Sherlock Holmes
You could call Sherlock Holmes a killjoy in some respects since he takes what seems to be mystic and destroys it with logic. Of course that’s the allure of the whole character given that he can take a situation and break it down into its various components in order to figure out how something was done and how a crime was committed. But this version of the famed detective does stretch the line for some folks since despite whatever the classic stories say, seeing him as a bare-knuckle boxer was something that a lot of audience members were honestly surprised by. Though to be fair it’s not just anyone that can play such a role.
2. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
This movie is a lot of fun since it starts out being about a card sharp being staked by his friends to win a game that is, unfortunately for him, rigged by the same person running the game. When they end up owing Harry five hundred thousand pounds they’re pressed for how to get it all together so that Harry doesn’t have them killed. What they do however is not only dangerous but insanely funny since they rob a band of thieves and then end up losing the money. At the end of the movie however they have a chance to at least make something back, so long as Tom doesn’t dispose of the last of the evidence, a pair of antique shotguns that are worth a fortune.
Diamonds and underground boxing matches and Pikeys, oh my. One thing you can remember about this film is that Brad Pitt is almost indecipherable unless you can understand every single word that’s coming out of his mouth. Even the subtitles don’t seem to pick up everything as he goes on and on. But when a diamond heist is pulled off and the diamond is subsequently stolen by more than one person in succession it eventually comes into the hands of an illegal boxing promoter named Turkish who ends up narrating the whole story. What happens between the beginning and the end is a kind mashup that puts together some truly funny elements with some very memorable characters that make for a great film.
One thing Guy Ritchie knows how to do is make you laugh while wondering just what in the world he was thinking.